18 Jan 2024

Drone Attack on US-owned Ship near Yemen, 9 Indian Crew Members Aboard; Indian Navy Dispatches Warship

A drone carrying a bomb, launched by Yemen's Houthi rebels, attacked a U.S.-owned ship in the Gulf of Aden on Wednesday, according to officials. The Genco Picardy was targeted in the second such attack in recent days on vessels associated with the United States, following U.S.-led strikes against the Houthis. 

Vessel and crew are safe

The incident highlights the risks to shipping in the crucial waterway, especially amid Israel's conflict with Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The attack occurred approximately 70 miles (110 kilometers) southeast of Aden, causing a fire on board, which the ship's captain reported as extinguished. The vessel and crew are reported as safe, heading to their next port of call. The information comes from the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations, overseeing Mideast waterways.

9 Indians among 22 crew members 

The Indian Navy reported that the attack occurred at approximately 11:11 pm on Tuesday night. The vessel, carrying 22 crew members, including 9 Indians, managed to escape casualties. In response to the drone attack, the Indian Navy swiftly dispatched the warship INS Visakhapatnam for aid.

By 12:30 am, the Indian warship arrived at the scene and conducted an inspection, confirming that the fire had not inflicted damage to the ship. Bomb experts determined that the vessel could safely resume its journey. 

US Strike Targets Houthi Rebels

Earlier, the United States executed its fourth attack on Houthi rebels in Yemen on Wednesday, destroying 14 missiles and launchers in the airstrike, as reported by the US media.

In response to the escalating threat of Houthi attacks on ships in the Arabian Sea, the United States launched Tomahawk missiles at three locations. The U.S. asserts that these actions aim to curtail Houthi assaults on ships. But the Houthi rebels have expressed their intent to persist in attacking ships in solidarity with Gaza.

Surge in Attacks by Houthis and Pirates Raises Concerns

The heightened frequency of attacks by both Houthi rebels and pirates at sea is impacting India, with numerous incidents targeting ships destined for India or those with Indian crew members.

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